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International friendly wrap: Neymar blows penalty as Brazil draw

Neymar missed an 81st-minute penalty as Brazil recorded a 1-1 draw with Colombia in New Jersey on Wednesday, while Nigeria beat Venezuela.

The Santos striker had cancelled out Juan Cuadrado’s 44th-minute goal just on the hour mark before he sent his penalty attempt sailing over the crossbar with nine minutes remaining.

Neymar’s miss ensured the match resulted in a stalemate, the fourth draw in succession between th
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e two nations.

Mano Menezes’ men came into the match off the back of six consecutive victories that has seen them grab 24 goals, but Colombia started the match on the front foot.

And they eventually broke the deadlock on 44 minutes thanks to some wonderful combination play between James Rodriguez and Macnelly Torres.

Rodriguez played a neat one-two before releasing Cuadrado, who left Leandro Castan in his wake before driving his finish beyond goalkeeper Diego Alves.

Brazil found more width in the second half, pinning Cuadrado and Pablo Armero back in their own half and found their equaliser just after the hour mark when Neymar found space on the left, cut inside and curled his cool finish into the far corner.

Neymar should have put his side ahead less than 15 minutes later, when Armero brought down Barcelona defender Dani Alves inside the area.

Despite Colombian protests that the Napoli man won the ball, the referee pointed to the spot. Neymar, however, got his spot-kick wrong, leaning back and lofting his shot way over the bar.

Nigeria proved far too strong for Venezuela, registering a 3-1 win in Miami.

After a goalless first-half, Ideye Brown put the Nigerians ahead in the 48th minute before Igiebor Nosa doubled their advantage five minutes later.

Frank Fleschcer reduced the deficit with a 69th-minute effort but Onazi Ogneyi restored Nigeria’s two-goal advantage deep into stoppage time.

Finally, Carlos Saucedo netted an injury-time goal as Bolivia held Costa Rica to a 1-1 draw.

Thu 15 November, 2012
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